January 2008 Briefing - Rheumatology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Rheumatology for January 2008. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Studies Find New Genetic Links to Increased Lupus Risk

MONDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- A genomewide scan of North Americans with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and healthy controls -- followed by a case-control replication analysis in Swedes -- revealed two susceptibility loci for the disease, as reported online Jan. 20 in the New England Journal of Medicine. Three other studies, published online Jan. 20 in Nature Genetics, report variants in at least six regions that are linked with increased risk of the disease.

Abstract - NEJM study
Full Text - NEJM study (subscription or payment may be required)
Editorial - NEJM study
Full Text - Nature Genetics 1(subscription or payment may be required)
Full Text - Nature Genetics 2 (subscription or payment may be required)
Full Text - Nature Genetics 3 (subscription or payment may be required)

Bedtime Prednisone Beneficial in Rheumatoid Arthritis

FRIDAY, Jan. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with rheumatoid arthritis, modified-release prednisone taken at bedtime may reduce morning joint stiffness better than immediate-release prednisone taken in the morning, according to a study published in the Jan. 19 issue of The Lancet.

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Allopurinol Link to Rare Cutaneous Reactions Examined

THURSDAY, Jan. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Allopurinol use is associated with an increased risk of two rare but life-threatening severe cutaneous adverse reactions and the risk increases with higher doses, according to the results of a study published in the January issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Exercise Programs Reduce Neck and Arthritis Pain

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Workers with chronic neck pain may benefit from neck-specific strength training exercises, and people with arthritis may see some improvements in symptoms and strength from the basic eight-week People with Arthritis Can Exercise (PACE) program, according to two studies published in the Jan. 15 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism: Arthritis Care & Research.

Abstract - Andersen
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Abstract - Callahan
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FDA Warns of Pain Associated with Bisphosphonates

TUESDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Patients taking bisphosphonates may develop severe and sometimes incapacitating musculoskeletal pain, according to a statement issued Jan. 7 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Bisphosphonates are marketed as Actonel, Actonel+Ca, Aredia, Boniva, Didronel, Fosamax, Fosamax+D, Reclast, Skelid and Zometa.

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New Estimates Show Rise in Prevalence of Arthritis

TUESDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- An estimate of the prevalence of rheumatic conditions finds that more than one-fifth of American adults report that they have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. The new figures on rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and other conditions are published in two papers in the January issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Abstract - Helmick
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Abstract - Lawrence
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Knee Osteoarthritis Predicted by Finger Length Ratios

MONDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals whose index finger is shorter than their ring finger appear to have an increased risk of osteoarthritis of the knee, according to an article published in the January issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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